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UK airline bosses criticise hotel quarantine plan, seek support

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The bosses of airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet criticised on Tuesday a possible plan for mandatory quarantine in hotels for some or all arrivals to Britain and called for a support package.

The government is due to announce soon whether it will bring in such measures, the country’s coronavirus vaccination minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday as he warned the public not to book summer vacations.

Britain has suffered a sharp rise in infections and deaths in the new year, fuelled partly by a new more highly contagious variant of the virus first identified in southeast England.

Writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, airline and travel company executives pointed to existing steps taken to curtail the virus, including bans from some high-risk nations and a quarantine period at home.

“Policy should be based on evidence, and we have seen no compelling scientific evidence that introducing a policy potentially of blanket quarantine in hotels, is necessary in addition to measures only recently introduced,” they wrote.

“We request the opportunity to discuss both an exit plan and a bespoke support package with you urgently, at a time of your convenience.” (Reporting by Costas Pitas. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

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